Welcome to the busiest time of the year on Pinterest! People start planning as early as JULY! Can you believe it? This means it’s time for you to start thinking about your holiday Pinterest marketing strategy. I’ll share my five best tips to get you started.
If you have been using Pinterest for at least a year, you should know that there are typical trends with Pinterest marketing. Usually, there is a lull after February (Valentine’s Day) through May (when Summer planning starts up), then a dip in June/July when moms are out with the kids, summer vacations, etc., and then picks up again for Back to School in August, generally speaking. Of course 2020 and 2021 are a little different as a result of the pandemic and its effects on virtual school and remote work. Only you can look into your analytics and see what that season is for your business.
According to Pinterest, “People on Pinterest tend to spend 2x more than the general public, and with 67% of them using Pinterest to plan for “all things holiday,” it’s easy to see holiday shopping happens on Pinterest.” This is the best time for you to make sure your Pinterest marketing is maximized.
1. Start holiday Pinterest Marketing early
With Pinterest, the key thing is to think like a retailer. OK, maybe not as bad as our current retailers who are putting up Christmas stuff before Halloween, but you do need to start your holiday Pinterest marketing no later than October. Start by creating your promotional plan, researching content ideas, and then give yourself enough time to create new content.
Even Pinterest has said, “Starting as early as July, some 62.7 million people come to Pinterest to get ideas for the holidays. They’re looking for gifts, party ideas, and more, with around 90% of all Pinners saying Pinterest helps them decide what to purchase. And they come to Pinterest because they say the ideas they find for things to buy are more tailored and relevant than other platforms, especially when they’re in a holiday pinch.”
2. Check your Google Analytics
First, start by looking at your Google Analytics. Even if you don’t love analytics, you must look at it from time to time. It’s a wealth of knowledge and your history.
Choose the fourth quarter of last year, October through December. You will see what your most popular blog posts were and what didn’t do so well. For your more popular blog posts, start repinning them. You can utilize the Smart Loop feature in Tailwind which recycles your content. The Smart Loop allows you to set the date that it will start pinning for you when it’s time to begin holiday Pinterest marketing.
If you set this up last year, then your pins are going to start pinning auto-magically. You don’t even have to think about it. But if you haven’t used Tailwind or set up your Smart Loop in the last year, you’re going to need to set that up. You’re going to set up a seasonal loop. Tailwind asks when you want to start and end your pinning so that you’ll be set for years to come!
When you are creating new content or tweaking old content, as you add the pins to schedule through Tailwind, you’re going to want to do two things:
- Add it to your Tailwind Communities so that it gets shared by other members (another good thing about Tailwind!)
- Then add it to your seasonal Smart Loop
Be sure to look at Smart Loop if you’ve been using Tailwind for the last year. You can see which pins performed well last year. With pins that have performed well, keep them repinning. If they didn’t perform well, you will want to go back and do some research. Why did some of your pins do well compared to others? If it was one of your most popular blog posts, perhaps one pin image performed better over another.
Check your headlines
Do you have keywords in it? I like to use two tools.
- The Pinterest search bar can verify you are using the correct Pinterest SEO/ keywords
- CoSchedule Headline Analyzer – I love this as a tool for testing out new headlines. You do not have to use the same headline as your blog post. You just want to make sure that whatever they’re clicking on will match the content that they’re going to.
Change your fonts, images, or colors
When I changed my branding last year, one pin that never took off, suddenly started doing really well once I changed the font and the colors. When I first started my business, I wasn’t thinking of how my branding was going to affect Pinterest. I had opted to use a pretty, swirly font. Lesson learned and now I warn against the pretty fonts because 85% of people use Pinterest on their phones. If you use a serif font, check your pins on your own phone to see if it’s hard to read when it is much smaller.
Pinterest also reads the text on your pins. You want to make sure Pinterest is reading the text correctly and is attributing it to the correct search terms.
3. "Holiday-ify" / Reuse content and create specific holiday content
One easy way to create content for your holiday Pinterest marketing is to “Holiday-ify” or repurpose existing content. Here is an example to show you how I “Holiday-ify” my gift guide.
It’s the same gift guide blog post but with a different image. The pin on the left is pinned nine months out of the year using Smart Loop. The holiday version, on the right is repinned October, November, and December with Smart Loop. Not only can you do this with gift guides, but you can do it with any of your content that would be fitting. If you have existing content, you don’t have to change the content, just create new pins. You can also play with the titles like I changed the pin on the right to say holiday gift guide during this time of year.
4. Create Gift Guides
Gift guides are an easy way to create new content and I suggest you create multiple gift guides, which are excellent for creating an affiliate income. When you list the items in the gift guide, advertise your offer(s) if appropriate.
You can create holiday gift guides for your favorite DIYer, for men, for women, for teens if it applies to your business and your holiday Pinterest marketing goals. Take some time to browse Pinterest to help you brainstorm multiple gift guide ideas for your business.
A Note on Keywords
When you’re creating content, just a reminder to use Pinterest keywords. I remember when I first used Pinterest, I would just use the search bar.
When you start typing in a word, additional options will pop up before you hit enter. Those are additional keywords that can be used as well. To verify that the keyword is a good keyword, you want to click on it or hit enter depending on which way you’re doing it.
Make sure that the pins that show up are in fact talking about your keyword. You may want to add in specific holiday-related search words like Christmas Dinner Recipes, Christmas Tablescapes, New Year’s Goal Planning, etc.. Create holiday-specific boards if it applies to your business. It’s not applicable to mine so I don’t have holiday boards. But I do have DIY blogger clients where they have Thanksgiving Crafts, Thanksgiving Recipes Side Dishes, and Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes boards, for example.
5. Create a SPECIAL OFFER specific to Black Friday or the Holidays
Do you have an idea for a new product or service you might be planning for the new year? Consider creating a holiday-themed opt-in or a special offer for your business perfect for this time of the year. Promote as part of your holiday Pinterest marketing it to see what kind of feedback you get.
Once you create an opt in or offer, consider running multiple pins to it plus a Pinterest Ad campaign to increase visibility and grow your email list before you market your Black Friday offer. Plus, create email campaigns to survey your audience about potential new products or services you might offer in the future.
BONUS: Try Different Pin Types
Pinterest has multiple types of pins. You don’t want to seem spammy and keep pinning the same thing repeatedly. One option is to create multiple pins for a blog post. When you did your Google Analytics research to find your top ten best-performing blog posts for the holidays, if you only have one or two pins per post, create more. I would only create a few more because in a three-month time frame you don’t want to pin them too often or it will seem spammy.
Create short intro videos to your blog post or video. I like to think of them as a movie trailer for your content. Create a headline that makes people want to click to learn more. To learn more about video pins, you can check out this blog post by Tailwind.
Carousel pins are multiple pins in one and then they flip like a mini slideshow. I think that would be great for products especially if you have a product with multiple images showing how to use your product.
Idea pins have soared in popularity and get a lot of impressions from Pinterest. Idea pins keep your pinner on the platform and you can’t add your own link to the pin but at the end, they show your Pinterest profile. You will get more followers which in turn may help because they will see more of your content. By keeping you on Pinterest longer, Pinterest also hopes you will then be targeted with a Pinterest Ad.
If you choose to experiment with idea pins, use them to tell a story, tutorial, or lists always work well too.
Pinterest Promoted Pins
The last option is Pinterest Promoted Pins, or Pinterest Ads.
Below are the results of a pin campaign I used to run around a holiday-themed opt-in. Those clicks added names to my email list! I spent $20. It’s been in front of 3,283 pairs of eyes and has been clicked 47 times. The cost per lead is .43 cents and my click-through rate is 1.43%, which is pretty good for a promoted pin.
People often ask, should I run Facebook ads or Pinterest ads? There are times when you would use each.
When Black Friday arrives, I can send a targeted email to my list. The other thing is you can retarget using Facebook ads. There is a Pinterest pixel gathering data to your website so it can create a look-alike audience. I can upload my email list to Facebook and run retargeting ads. It does take some time to get Pinterest Ads optimized. You need to give yourself two to three weeks.
Ad bid prices are higher during the holidays because there is more competition. I used to start at a $.20 bid and I’m currently at .57 cents with the opt-in above and the other Pinterest Ad for my Pinning Foundations Pinterest Course is currently at $1.02 and still rising.
When you create a Pinterest Ad, it needs to get approved, which happens pretty quickly. But then it doesn’t instantly start posting right away, unlike Facebook ads, and then takes a few days to provide data. It took two to three days to realize that it was not spending my budget so I had to keep raising the price. It took me a good week to figure out what was a good bid price. Once that started going, it’s been taking off and it’s been spending my daily budget. Pinterest also has a new feature that provides recommendations on how much to raise the bid to and it has been very accurate and helpful so far.
That’s why it takes a good two to three weeks to get going. This strategy is good for growing your email list ahead of a promotion or for a Pinterest holiday marketing promotion. I would not run a promoted pin specifically for a Black Friday deal where it was very time-limited. I would use Facebook ads in this instance and once Facebook ads are turned off, the ad (and your Black Friday deal disappears).
With Pinterest, pins can be saved or repinned. If they did that with your limited time offer and go back to click on it after Black Friday, that deal is no longer valid or if you unpublish the page, they will get an error or you need to create a message on that page that the deal is no longer valid and direct them somewhere else or offer them a freebie for their trouble and get their email address.
Pinterest Ads and Facebook Ads both have advantages in certain situations. Pinterest Ads are a good choice because they are typically lower cost and can be used to grow your email list or an evergreen product or course. Facebook ads are best for time-sensitive offers.
If you haven’t tried Tailwind, you need to sign up for the FREE TRIAL and save yourself $15 for the year when you sign up using my affiliate link. When time is at a premium, you want to fill your Tailwind queue and let it schedule your pins while you are busy visiting friends and family, shopping, or baking cookies!
To learn more about why I love, love, LOVE Tailwind, you might find Why You Need Tailwind to Boost Your Pinterest Strategy helpful.
Need more holiday Pinterest marketing tips?
Be sure to check out my Prep Your Pinterest for the Holidays Masterclass where you can learn all my tips and tricks to take advantage of this busy selling season and reach your annual revenue goals.
Bonus: Pinterest will keep working for you throughout the year and you’ll have even more organic traffic in future years!